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'Quantum' gives 007 fans some 'Solace'

Nov 14, 2008

By John Powell - G4 Canada

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Bond is back and man is he pissed.

Quantum Of SolaceThe good news for gamers and filmgoers alike is that James Bond is all business in both the 'Quantum of Solace' game and the film. Looking to avenge the death of the woman he loved, Bond ain't cracking jokes, sipping martinis or seducing women. He is mercilessly busting up people left, right and centre as he tracks down those responsible. In doing so, he leaves a trail of battered, bruised and just plain lifeless bodies in his wake. Trust me, those are just the words first person shooter fans want to hear.

With Electronic Arts surrendering the 007 license after publishing a mixed bag of Bond games, it is now Activision's turn to put the world's greatest spy through his paces.

'Quantum of Solace' is a little misleading. Most of the gameplay takes place within the confines of the 'Casino Royale' storyline not the latest installment in the Bond movie franchise. The levels that are a part of the 'Quantum' plot mostly reveal pieces of the story we didn't get to see in the movie such as how Bond captured a suspect for interrogation. In that regard, blowing a helicopter out of the sky is always good fun, believe you me, even though the plot itself is a bit disjointed and jumps around far too often to follow clearly if you haven't seen any of the movies.

While there are many staged showdowns with 007 targeting wave after wave of baddies in differing environments, there are stealth and sniper elements that bring his silencer and rifle into play. Pegging an unsuspecting foe in the back of the head or executing a headshot through a scope is definitely on par with taking down a whirlybird. Yes, at times, I did have some sweet 'Goldeneye' flashbacks. Add in the James Bond theme playing in the background and you really do feel as if you are the dapper international super spy.

Quantum Of SolaceThe environments fit in well with the globetrotting theme of the series too. From a hotel in the middle of the desert to an opera house in Berlin, have gun and you definitely will travel. Developers Treyarch didn't stop there though. Some of the environments present unique gameplay experiences on their own such as when you engage in gun battles on a moving train or dilapidated rooftops where you must carefully watch your each and every step.

Pulling from their experience with the 'Call of Duty' games, Treyarch really hits its stride though with Solace's multiplayer component. Long after you have completed the single player campaign, the multiplayer package will assuredly continue to draw you back in time and time again. The varying environments provide excellent settings for both close quarters to wide-ranging combat. The diverse gameplay modes that include a 'Man with the Golden Gun' scenario that harkens back to the original 'Goldeneye' game with its special handgun that can kill with just one shot and a team-based escort 007 mission, has something for any gamer. Just like their outstanding work on 'Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare', Treyarch has really set the standard for online multiplayer by unloading everything and anything into the mix.

Quantum Of Solace'Quantum' shakes but won't stir up the experienced FPS gamer in any way. It is fun for what it is but the single player campaign won't live on in anyone's memory as something truly exceptional. The true test for Activision and Treyarch will be the first non-movie tie-in, if there is one planned. Unrestricted by a movie tie-in, one wonders what Treyarch could come up with.

'Quantum of Solace' is a promising debut as Activision and Treyarch join forces to take over the direction of the 007 license. One just hopes they keep the triumphs and failures of Electronic Arts in mind as they move forward.

 

Quantum Of Solace
Format: Xbox 360
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Treyarch
ESRB Rating: T for Teen
Official Site: http://007thevideogame.com/

Rating: 7.5 / 10



 
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About G4 in Canada
G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.